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Northwest Illinois Horticulture Corner

In the far Northwest Corner of Illinois, gardening is a very popular pastime! Get your info here!
Extension News Releases

Right plant, right place

News source/writer: Jennifer Fishburn, 217-782-4617, URBANA, Ill. – As gardeners, we go to the garden center, wander the aisles, and find a plant we can't live without. Then at home, we walk to our garden with plant and shovel in hand and look for a space to put our new impulse purcha...

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Perennial plant of the year – Allium 'Millenium'

News source/writer: Martha A. Smith, 309-756-9978,...

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2018 All-America Selection winners

News source/writer: Bruce J. Black, 815-632-3611,   URBANA, Ill. – Cold, blustery temperatures have been moving across Illinois lately and gardeners are starting to put the landscape to bed for the winter. Why not weather the season indoors and start designing next year's garden? "Planning yo...

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A winter experiment for youth: Forcing paperwhites

News source/writer: Brittnay Haag , 309-663-8306,   URBANA, Ill. – Even though it is cold outside and snow may be covering our gardens, we can still exercise our little ones' green thumbs. Bring the garden inside this winter with fun activities and experiments! Winter is the per...

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Watch where you step: The legend of mistletoe

News writer/source: Chris Enroth, 309-837-3939, URBANA, Ill. – Decorating with mistletoe has been a holiday tradition for many centuries in North America and Europe. It begs the question: Why do we have this strange tradition that prompts friends, family, and even enemies...

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Twelve Christmas tree facts

News writer/source: Ron Wolford, 773-233-2900,   URBANA, Ill. – Ron Wolford, University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator, shares these Christmas tree facts that are sure to spruce up your yuletide knowledge. Christmas trees are grown in all 50 states as well as Canada....

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Ten interesting facts about poinsettias

News writer/source: Ron Wolford, 773-233-2900,   URBANA, Ill. – No flower says Christmas like the beautiful poinsettia, according to Ron Wolford, a University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator. "Let's learn a few facts and dispel some misconceptions about this traditional...

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Holiday wreaths

News source/writer: Andrew Holsinger, 217-532-3941,   URBANA, Ill. – Decorative wreaths are a popular favorite during the holiday season. A holiday wreath adds color, interest, and a festive focal point inside or outside your home. "A wreath can be made from a variety of fresh greenery," sa...

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Selecting the perfect Christmas tree

News source/writer: Ron Wolford, 773-233-2900,...

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Horticulture hydration

News source/writer: Andrew Holsinger, 217-532-3941, It's not rocket science; we all know that plants need water to thrive. But Andrew Holsinger wants to give gardeners a refresher on the ins and outs of garden hydration. "Many environmental conditions factor into plant survival," says Holsinger, a...

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Creating a Butterfly Oasis

News source/writer: Kari Houle, 217-357-2150, There are approximately 2,000 species of butterflies and moths native to Illinois, and creating a butterfly oasis can bring them to your backyard. "One of the things to remember when creating a butterfly oasis is to provide both nectar sources for butterfli...

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Garden Flowers for the "Dog Days" of August

News source/writer: Martha Smith, 309-756-9978, Every summer, gardeners notice that certain plants are beautiful up until the heat arrives. Then they fade and wither, leaving us with only the memories of what once was. To keep these plants looking good, watering becomes a nightmare during high heat and perio...

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Goldenrods for the Garden

News source/writer: Martha Smith, 309-756-9978, When August arrives, our gardens start to show off their late summer beauty. Butterflies flit from plant to plant, often alighting on members of the Solidago species, commonly known as goldenrods. This native plant has gained popularity in recent years....

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Decoding the secret language of flowers

News source/writer: Rhonda Ferree, 309-543-3308,   URBANA, Ill. – Do you give flowers to your loved one on holidays and birthdays? Flowers are a great way to communicate your love and affection, and some can convey...

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Benefits of intergenerational gardening

News source/writer: Bruce J. Black, 815-632-3611,   URBANA, Ill. – Like many life skills, gardening is often learned directly from family members. Grandparents might recruit the grandkids to help water transplants or drop in seeds, setting the stage for a lifetime love of gardening....

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Managing pests in your garden with IPM

News source/writer: Ken Johnson, 217-243-7424,   URBANA, Ill. – When trying to manage pests in your garden this year consider using integrated pest management (IPM) practices. "As the saying goes, the only things guaranteed in life are death and taxes, and i...

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Perilous Pears

Source: Rhonda J. Ferree, Extension Educator, Horticulture,   Each year I am more distressed by the number of volunteer ornamental pear trees I see growing in fields, roadsides, and other places where they shouldn't be. This is yet another example of a plant that has escaped culti...

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Home fruit tree care this spring and summer

News source/writer: Richard Hentschel, 630-584-6166,   URBANA, Ill. – Taking a little time this spring to care for your fruit trees will improve their performance and quality all season, according to University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator Richard Hentschel. "Fruit tree care...

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The marvels of spring ephemerals

News Source:  Nancy Kreith , 708-679-6889 URBANA, Ill. – Spring will be arriving soon, and with the new season comes brand new foliage followed by a burst of flowers...

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Rhubarb's Mysteries Revealed

News Source:  Jennifer Fishburn , 217-782-4617 URBANA, Ill. – As the season warms up, many gardeners begin looking forward to their first rhubarb harvests. Although it was first cultivated in central Asia more than 2,000 years ago for its medicinal properties, rhubarb i...

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Trees and shrubs for poor drainage sites

News source/writer: Andrew Holsinger, 217-532-3941,   URBANA, Ill. – The splendor of trees and shrubs is apparent in the above-ground portions of the plants, but what lies beneath should not be ignored. "Soil plays a vital role in the survival of trees and shrubs in the landscape," Universi...

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Pruning Fruit Trees

Source: Rhonda J. Ferree, Extension Educator, Horticulture, Now is the best time to prune many of your trees and shrubs, including fruit trees. Pruning of fruit trees is done to improve fruit quality, develop a strong plant, facilitate harvest, and control the size/shape...

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Orchids make elegant houseplants

News source/writer: Sandra L. Mason, 217-333-7672,   URBANA, Ill. – Most of us have limited experience with orchids, and may feel intimidated by their reputation as finicky plants. However, orchids are an amazingly diverse plant family, growing in deserts, mountains, marshes, northern woods, and Illi...

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Boxwood blight confirmed in Illinois

News Sources: Diane Plewa , 217-333-0519 Suzanne Bissonnette Boxwood blight, a serious fungal disease, has been confirmed in Illinois. According to a University Diagnostic Outreach Extension Specialist,...

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Trees and winter storm damage

Source/writer: Chris Enroth, 309-837-3939,   URBANA, Ill. – After a winter storm, the landscape will likely be breathtaking. But it is a beauty with hidden dangers, said a University of Illinois horticulture educator. "Small limbs can take on hundreds of pounds of additional weight from snow...

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